Triggered execution 

Run a command when sources change 

You can make a command run when certain files change by prefixing the command with ~. Monitoring is terminated when enter is pressed. This triggered execution is configured by the watch setting, but typically the basic settings watchSources and pollInterval are modified as described in later sections.

The original use-case for triggered execution was continuous compilation:

> ~ test:compile

> ~ compile

You can use the triggered execution feature to run any command or task, however. The following will poll for changes to your source code (main or test) and run testOnly for the specified test.

> ~ testOnly example.TestA

Run multiple commands when sources change 

The command passed to ~ may be any command string, so multiple commands may be run by separating them with a semicolon. For example,

> ~ ;a ;b

This runs a and then b when sources change.

Configure the sources that are checked for changes 

To add the file demo/example.txt to the files to watch,

watchSources += baseDirectory.value / "demo" / "examples.txt"

Set the time interval between checks for changes to sources 

pollInterval selects the interval between polling for changes in milliseconds. The default value is 500 ms. To change it to 1 s,

pollInterval := 1000 // in ms


sbt Reference Manual
    1. Triggered execution